Warning: This article is not an article that teaches but an article to be empathized with by those that also struggles. I take no responsibility for any doubts caused, nor do I proclaim to have any solution as of now.
I always had this problem (that I attribute to my Second Generation Christian inheritance). That is, I always find myself in the In-Between Land of Christianity; the chasm that lies between the Old Nature and the New Nature. In my inheritance (that I loathe and love at the same time, the cause of my confusion), I find myself in situations where promises that speaks of the New Nature (that magical nature in which Sin is no longer a Master) becomes obsolete… when “no longer” does not apply. In this chasm, I wonder if Sin had ever been my Master or is still my Master, and who is my Master?
If I, who converted at a young age (of approx 4/5 years old), became the new Man with the new Nature from the start, why do I still lead a Sinful life that fails in being Victorious thoroughly.
My problem begins in Romans 6:2
“By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”
Being born the New Man, since young… where does my death to Sin lie. In fact, it is my Birth to the Sinful Nature that I acquire. I grew as the successful heir to the inherent sinful nature of men, and am ever more chastised for the innocent yet guilty rebellion of my failure. Arguably, my 3 year old self may have had a Sinful Nature, but what use of the knowledge if I was unaware of its existence. I can live in Sin, because I had never died to it and how do I die to it, when the New Nature that is supposed to have killed it, allowed it to live?
Romans continue in this vein
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” (vs6,7)
Yet, this Fence that is clearly marked out by the Conversion Experience that I do not have, was not a crossroad but the “Go” of my Monopoly life. I have died, but where is my freedom from sin? It is the bondage into Sin, the awakening of my Eve’s attainment of the knowledge of good and evil that I grew into. It is when I am aware that I am sinning, that I realize that I cannot do anything, for the New Nature that I should be born with had failed in retaining me from the taint of the Human Sinful Nature.
But the In-Between Land that I lay in goes even deeper and my struggle even harder.
What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (Romans 6:21,22)
Where then is my Sinful Nature and to what do I compare it to? I have always been a slave to God (if we are to understand that my New Nature begins since the start of my awareness/consciousness). My New Nature should be reigning within me, or I should have been aware of the presence of Sin and avoid it based on this supposedly innate instinct that the New Nature is said to provide. Instead, I am realized into the Sinful Nature within my New Nature (and this condition, should not be). How was I free from Sin, when I grew up into the bondage of Sin? Indeed, what I do not want to do, I do. What I want to do, I do not do. And if Paul says that our motivation to not sin, is our awareness that our previous sins lead to death. Where is my motivation, when the horrific nature of sin (due to the juxtaposition of its black deathly dirt to the pure white of redemption in the life with Christ) cannot be seen when the black is mingled into the white cloth? It cannot be a stain, it is hidden by the white, and lay dormant, for the White promises to be victorious, but it is not so.
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness
It remains that I must and should be living a life of peace and love since young if I had received the Spirit but instead my body becomes alive to sin and at the same time, horrifically my spirit is alive because of righteousness. I am the conglomerate Sinful and Spirit-filled man, that is an abomination in the Christian World. For I have no Old Nature that I can see, and if there needs to be an Old Nature (that is the presence of the Sinful Nature), I attain it in my New Nature. Hence, the failure of the New Nature to a certain extent.
So here I lie in the In-Between Land of Christianity. I hate sin for I know the definition of Sin by the law. I seek God from the start of my Christian life in my childhood. But if I seek God yet grow into the failing Sinful Nature, am I not the epitome of 1 John1:6
“If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth”
In fellowship with Him, yet living in the darkness, yet also living in the light, and knowing the difference, yet unable to break free from Sin, through the absence of the disgust of Sin (as the absence of Righteousness) for Righteousness and Sin have coexisted from the start. I become this incomplete awkward man, that lives by the truth and do not live by the truth, and that is not a truth at all.
In this, I am tempted every so often to fall into my Sinful Nature in order to gain the realization of a desperate need for Christ and only Him. In this, I am unable to see the importance of the saving power of Christ in the powerful conversion of a Saul to a Paul. I am unable to empathize and say to the non-believer, “You’re living in sin and you really need him.” I have Him and yet still remain in Sin. I cannot see the difference between the two as clearly as those with a Conversion Experience can (with the With God/Without God circumstance).
It it only in this biblical hope that I see some form of respite from this barren In-Between Land that should not exist.
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Phil 3:7-11)
It is in this continuous seeking to attain the resurrection and the utter dependence of a life with God, am I still a Christian.